Consistent content. It’s one of the biggest pain points for businesses, yet there are some simple tools and steps you can take to help achieve a level of consistency you need in your marketing efforts.

If you’re a small business owner you probably don’t have a marketing resource to drive your content strategy, so you’re left trying to cram content creation into your schedule among hundreds of other things you need to do throughout any given day.

One of the simplest and valuable tools you should be using in your content creation process is a content calendar. Prior to commencing any content creation, you should take the time to create and populate a calendar mapping out your content for months to come.

Here are 4 reasons why you need a content calendar:

it helps with an organised content strategy

Implementing and following a content calendar helps you keep your content strategy organised by knowing when and where to publish throughout the week. It’ll detail upcoming activity on various platforms and channels, dates to publish and could also detail the performance of content by analysing specific engagement metrics. This would then give insight into what is and is not working.

it keeps everything consistent

You don’t want lapses with your audience, you want to be keeping your delivery consistent to maintain engagement levels and growth. You could publish content sporadically over time, but this won’t help you tap into all of those touchpoints between your brand and your audience. Inconsistency won’t help you build a meaningful relationship with your audience.

it saves you time and stress

You’re busy, and you know this. That’s why having a content calendar will keep you on track and allow you to allocate a specific time to write/produce your content and prepare it for distribution. Many businesses fall into the trap of content deadlines creeping up on them, don’t fall victim to this. A content calendar will help with “batching” [a great way to get a lot of content completed at once for future publishing] which will give you peace of mind knowing you have enough content to maintain a consistent delivery up to a certain point.

it helps you track your ideas

Remember when you were on the run between meetings and thought of a great idea for some content? Of course, you don’t! It’s easy to forget your ideas as they show up as lightbulb moments. Recording these in your content calendar will give you the backlog of ideas you need to revert to when drafting content, saving you the time to stop and think about what you want to talk about in your content. If you have a large team with several divisions, you can keep track of their ideas and provide visibility across teams.

We’ve all heard it before when it comes to content, have a strategy and keep it consistent. It shouldn’t be a constant uphill battle to stay on track with your strategy, nor should it be hard to maintain consistency. Stay on top of your efforts using a content calendar created as a Google Sheet and shared with your team, or an Excel spreadsheet saved in a place everyone can access.